Automatic spending cuts, known as a sequester, will be cemented into place in the federal budget Friday, the deadline for lawmakers to pass a new spending plan to supersede the austerity spending package. There is no bill within sight to stop the sequester, which involves $85 billion in spending reductions.
Traditionally, gold is an attractive investment when economic uncertainty shows up, as it is considered a safe bet even in hard times. But under the shadow of the sequester deadline, gold was not in high demand, an indication that investors were not seeking out safe havens for their money.
Gold prices rose early in the week, then dropped 1 percent Wednesday. It lost another 1 percent Thursday, dropping $14.60 to $1,578.80 per troy ounce. Silver gave up 53 cents to $28.51 per ounce.
The dollar index was up 0.49 percent to 81.97 on the International Exchange.
Against the dollar the euro fell to $1.3056 from Wednesday's $1.3136. Against the yen, the dollar was higher at 92.62 yen from 92.23 yen.
The British pound rose to $1.5159 from $1.5158. The dollar rose to 1.0308 Canadian dollars from 1.0232 Canadian.